The Art of Discomfort
I feel like all military spouses have (or will soon) master the art of discomfort. Moving to new places with little notice, being the new spouse every few years, being the last of your circle of friends. Next add home life, professional goals, and getting your home perfect about 23 days before getting a new set of orders…. Like I said, we do uncomfortable well.
Now, what does any of that have to do with education?
All of it! As military spouses, we are all too familiar with adjusting and readjusting goals. Sometimes that’s a challenge with educational goals. Between keeping up with program requirements, certifications from state to state, continuing education units, among other things, education can be daunting. The types of questions I hear most often are:
What degree program should I enroll in?
Will this help me get a job?
Is it hard?
What will it cost?
Question 1: Honestly, what makes you happy or at least keeps you interested? College is hard, if you hate math, accounting might not be your calling. When you’re preparing for a final you should like the area of study. It’s also important to find an institution that makes the most sense for you and your lifestyle. We don’t always have the luxury of staying in one place for long, so a brick and mortar institution with an underdeveloped online presence probably is not a good match. Conversely, if you can’t look at a computer screen for a few hours a day online education might not be for you.
Question 2: Hopefully, it depends on what you want to do, the requirements for that position, and the job market. Having a degree or certification definitely helps, particularly with management positions.
Question 3: Remember what I said before, we do uncomfortable well! It will be a challenge and a challenge that is worth it. You are achieving your goals and setting the example for those around you.
Question 4: More than likely. Some states offer tuition forgiveness for state residents. There are also lots of organizations that offer scholarships for military spouses. Don’t forget to apply for financial aid either. There is money, you just have to look for it.
With all of that said, most military installations have an education center with counselors and university representatives who can assist you in finding the perfect institution for you!